My mom tells me the story about when I first learned to write. I generally was an ambidextrous child, and decided to write with both of my hands, instead of just one.
Well apparently while in kindergarten I would write one line of text from left to right with my right hand, followed by a line of text from right to left with my left hand. So every other line I wrote was backward (as we all know, we read from left to right).
So my teacher told my mom that I have to pick a hand. I don't remember this conversation, but I guess I chose my right.
I told this story to someone not too long ago, and she replied with an interesting comment. She said, "wow, your creativity as a child was completely suppressed!"
She made an interesting point. My untrained, non-jaded brain as a 4 year old chose to do something in a different way. Not just stick with one, dominant hand but rather exercise both. However, I was forced by my superiors to do things the "right" way.
Ok, well I grew up getting mostly A's in school and getting into and graduating from an affordable college that I wanted to attend and following that up with a graduate degree. Rule following can be good and often necessary.
But this story made me think. Thinking outside of the box has always been in me but over time I became just another constant rule follower. It took almost 25 years to pass before I realized that in doing this I may have lost the instinctive, creative ability with which I was born.
Abilities to do things like create a business, do something I'm passionate about and be happy and successful by my standards and not just everyone else's who are just following the herd.
So was it a good thing that i was forced to write with one hand? I'm not sure. Maybe if my teacher and parents didn't introduce to me this structure I would be struggling today to keep order in my life, find jobs and deal with challenges deliberately and practically. Maybe not.
What i do know is that it never hurts to flex our creative muscles as adults. Maybe every once and a while we should pretend to be 4 years old again.
This photo is most definitely not me. Whoever it is, good for you!
I am currently 39 weeks pregnant and stopped running somewhere between 20 and 24 weeks.
From what I gather, every woman is going to be different. Some runners will run well past 6 months, some I've heard have to force themselves to stop at 3.
What I've learned during my first pregnancy is to become highly tuned to your body and then just listen to it. At a certain point, running just didn't feel right to me. I couldn't even explain what that meant, but it just didn't. So I simply stopped.
I didn't have any crazy pains or the Round Ligament feeling stuff people talk about. I didn't have one horrible run that made me start crying about not running for another 30 plus weeks. I just reached a comfortable stopping point. And then stopped.
In this way, not doing something I am used to doing (and very much enjoy doing) hasn't been so bad. Once running didn't feel quite "right", I found that I really enjoyed spending time on the Elliptical at the gym and taking long walks around the large cemetery by our house. I have pushed myself to keep exercising, (sometimes it's easy to make excuses and just be a pregnant lady on a couch) but after that initial "push," I never pushed my physical limits much further but rather got into a comfortable state of moving. I just did what felt "right."
I believe what has been key in getting through some major changes is focusing on what I can do, rather than what I can't. After all, something is now very important to me - this boy or girl growing inside me. This small human now is now in charge and I have to listen.
I will run soon enough. For now, when my husband runs out the door on a sunny Saturday morning for a leisurely 7 mile loop around town, a loop we've done together many times before, I'll smile and wave him off, remaining content that I am listening to my body and doing what feels good at that moment in time.
And now that I'm at 39 weeks, my body is pretty much telling me to stay put. No more long walks or gym time.
In an effort to get "back on the horse" post pregnancy, I've already picked a few road races that I can work toward.
And who knows, maybe my body will enjoy other new and fun physical challenges post pregnancy. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
I'm Kim. I like to work hard but not enough to stop having fun and enjoying life. I hope I never stop learning and exploring. Other people inspire me to be and do better every day. Read on for reflections on work and play.